Dear Future Journalist,
If I were in your shoes (once upon a time I was) I would be taking a great interest in the various types of social media and apps that are most popular right now for journalist and news organizations. After analyzing those (think about what’s worked and what hasn’t) I would try to think about the future of Journalism and imagine what the next best thing is. Journalism has evolved so much just this year alone, so always stay on your toes and try to stay on top of what Web 4.0 will bring.
Stay informed. Fake news is everywhere. You need to make sure the sources and news outlets that you are following are credible. Otherwise, one wrong tweet could potentially jeopardize your career.
Get into big data! If it’s not too late take a data-science class at school. The use of big data is popular right now and only going to become increasingly so. If you want to make sure you are a well-rounded journalist then jump into learning about data-driven journalism. I know math may not be your strong suit (or mine) but the numbers are important in aggregating trends and really can be used to your advantage in creating visuals. I think we are going to see a lot more coming from data-driven journalism so if you’re interested in it, jump in!
Always think of the audience you are trying to reach. In a society of smartphones everyone has a story and a voice, so how will you make yours stand out? Interaction is key.
Focus on your passions. Pick an area of journalism that you really are interested in and start networking. Networking is everything in this industry. Every person that you meet is important so don’t take these people (or your professors) for granted. They were once in your shoes.
Lastly, don’t give up! When I graduated and took my first job at a local news station I learned so much about myself and the news industry as a whole. While it didn’t turn out to be my dream job it presented me with an opportunity to use my education and experience for something better suited. Change is inevitable in journalism so this is something you have to embrace. Competition is fierce so If you can make yourself stand out amongst the next journalist this will take you far. Be bold and fearless!